Friday, August 22 11:34:22
Tesco Ireland today responded as over 200 farmers staged a protest outside their main Tesco outlet in Naas over beef prices.
The farmers say they mounted the protest because of ten months of beef price cuts as well as beef-buying specification changes that has seen some farmers lose 20pc of their incomes.
But Tesco Ireland today said that there have been no changes to Tesco's age restrictions or specifications in relation to bull beef and there are no current plans to make any changes.
"Tesco is a significant supporter of Irish beef farmers; beef exports to Tesco internationally from the Republic of Ireland are c E177m per year, almost 14pc of the total value of beef exports," a statement said.
Addressing the protestors in Naas, IFA president Eddie Downey said frustration levels among beef farmers are at near boiling point and he said that price cuts cannot be justified.
"With beef prices in our main markets in the UK and across the EU stable and recovering, the current attack on prices led by the factories cannot be justified... farmers feel betrayed by the unacceptable behaviour and lack of corporate responsibility on the part of the powerful retailers and meat factories to their farmer suppliers," Downey said.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal at the protest, Caroline Farrell a farmer from Stradbally, Laois urged processors and retailers to ease the burden on farmers.
"A better deal is needed for farmers, and a better deal is needed for beef prices," Farrell said. "Our costs have been soaring and we can't keep going on like this. It's not just a matter of one farmer or one sector, the whole farming community needs to pull together on this one," she said.
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